R. Stuart Dickson Professor and Chair of Psychology Julio Ramirez received an honorary doctorate degree from Fairfield University during the university's graduation ceremony in Fairfield, Conn. on Sunday, May 22. The degree honors Ramirez, a 1977 alumnus of Fairfield, for his commitment to science education and his work in the neuroscience field.
The degree citation, read during the ceremony, tells how a young Ramirez, born in Bridgeport, Conn. to Cuban parents, became so fascinated by President John F. Kennedy's space program that he researched the topic and taught a few classes on the subject himself–in eighth grade! Nicknamed "The Professor," Ramirez later continued his studies at Fairfield and focused his love of science on psychology.
"What fascinates Dr. Ramirez is the science behind psychology," reads the citation, "specifically the neuroplasticity of the brain that allows it to structurally and functionally reorganize itself after an injury.... His work in this area has implications for Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and traumatic brain injuries."
"I'm humbled and honored to have received this recognition from my alma mater," Ramirez said. "My career in neuroscience was launched at Fairfield University and I'm forever grateful to the wonderful professors who educated and inspired me there."
Ramirez has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring by President Barack Obama; the Award for Education in Neuroscience as well as the Bernice Grafstein Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Mentoring from the Society for Neuroscience; and the Distinguished Mentor Award from the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience. He graduated from Fairfield with a B.S. in Psychology, and received an M.A. and Ph.D. from Clark University.